PITTSFIELD — The Pittsfield Police Department has announced plans for the 2016 Community Police Academy.

The academy provides an opportunity for individuals to learn more about how police officers work, as well as gain a better understanding of department operations by familiarizing residents with our community policing philosophy, internal policies and the guiding principles of law and ethical conduct governing the delivery of police services within our community.

Topics for the upcoming academy include patrol operations, introduction to criminal law, motor vehicle stops, animal control, police use of force, accident investigations, OUIs, drugs, crime scenes, police K-9, firearms, and special operations.

The department is seeking interested citizens, volunteers, community policing partners, local business leaders, and educators to apply for this opportunity.

"The Pittsfield Police Community Academy provides attendees with firsthand exposure to the working lives of Pittsfield police officers during six, three-hour classes, held at PPD headquarters, instructed by our own officers," said Lt. Gary Traversa. "Community members of all adult ages can benefit from a better understanding of the many facets involved with the day-to-day operations of the Pittsfield Police Department, and they will experience the training involved, firsthand. We always strive to improve our community partnerships, and the academy is a valuable part of those efforts."


Classes will be at the PPD Headquarters, 39 Allen St. (Squad Room). They will be held:

Thursday, Sept. 8, 6 to 9 p.m.

Monday, Sept. 12, 6 to 9 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 22, 6 to 9 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 29, 6 to 9 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 17, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Range)

Thursday, Oct. 6, 6 to 9 p.m.

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age and live or work in Pittsfield. All applicants will be subject to a criminal history background check, as some prior criminal offenses may be disqualifying.

Interested applicants should contact Officer Nicole Gaynor via email at ngaynor@pittsfieldpd.org with any questions, or to obtain an application and recruiting materials. Applications can also be picked up at the front lobby of the police station, or accessed via the internet at pittsfieldpd.org under the "Forms" tab.

The deadline to apply for the program is Tuesday, Sept. 6.

Applications should be submitted to Gaynor in person at PPD headquarters, via email, or via USPS to 39 Allen St., Pittsfield, MA 01201.

Rolling admission notifications will be made through Wednesday, Sept. 7.

Those not selected for the current session will be placed on an eligibility list to attend the next scheduled class. Traversa said the enrollment will be capped at 22 attendees.

PPD Chief Michael Wynn said the department also held Community Academy programs in 2004 and 2007.

The return of the Pittsfield Police Department's Community Academy is partially funded by a U.S. Department of Justice Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant.